We revisit today the topic of the Nakba, or catastrophe, and continue with the subject of the Right of Return of Palestinian refugees.
Today is May 25, 2008. May 15th marked the official sixtieth anniversary of the long premeditated destruction of Palestinian civil society to make way for the creation of the state of Israel by mass terror campaigns; the massacre of thousands of innocent Palestinian civilians; the depopulation and extermination of 500 Palestinian villages; and the expulsion by military force of about 690,000 out of 850,000 Palestinians, or more than 80 percent of the Palestinian population then living in the area now called Israel. The collection of these events is a grim chapter of Palestinian history known as Al Nakba, the Arabic word for catastrophe.
Turning now to the topic of the Palestinian Refugees' Right of Return, we have the distinct privilege of welcoming our featured guest today, Dr. Susan Akram, Clinical Professor of Law at Boston University, where she teaches Immigration Law and Policy and Comparative Refugee Law. Professor Akram was graduated with honors from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, received her Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center, and a Diploma from the Institut Des Droits De l'Homme in Strasbourg, France. A recognized expert in International Refugee Law, Professor Akram taught at the Palestine School of Law at Al-Quds University in East Jerusalem from September 1999 to June 2000 and, under a Fulbright research grant, wrote recommendations for a durable solution for Palestinian refugees in light of the 1993 Oslo talks. Her research paper entitled: "Reinterpreting Palestinian Rights Under International Law, and a Framework For Durable Solutions" is listed as Issue No.1, February 2000, at the website of the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights in Bethlehem: www.badil.org. She joins us by telephone.
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